OUR People Profile – Rob’s Profile
Position, Natural Building Team
Rob ready for an offsite adventure.
Time at the Ecovillage: Volunteering since December 2012, living on-site since February 2013
Reasons for coming? I wanted to learn more about all of the natural building going on here and follow some opportunities related to that. I also wanted to learn more about being a teacher and being in a facilitation role and also have the experience of living in community.
How did you find out about the Ecovillage? Through the website—I was looking to live sustainably, lower my carbon footprint, garden, and do some homesteading, as well as the building—it all worked into what is going on here.
I also had co-workers who had done some work at the Village and talked about it.
Best thing about the Village?
The relationships and the sense of community you develop here. The fresh air! And the inspiration you draw from being around like-minded people.
Anything challenging about being here?
The structure and procedure is a bit challenging for me—there are quite a few meetings, and I would rather be doing, than talking about doing!
Advice for others interested in coming into a similar role?
I did a role progression, starting as a volunteer, which can be a pretty broad role depending on where you are interested in working (garden, kitchen, building team, etc). Next, I became a skill trader, which is typically a more experienced position based on the skills you bring to the village and carries more responsibility. Coming on staff is often a further extension of that, so there’s a process interested people can follow.
My advice for other people considering coming on board is not to come with expectations. Come open and ready and willing to experience everything and let it happen organically.
Come in with a limited role, initially, and gauge the feeling you get—make sure you find a fit within the community before you get more involved.
Is your time here part of a bigger external program?
I’m working towards my Red Seal in carpentry and doing some of my apprenticeship hours here.
How is this going to affect or contribute to your professional goals?
Immensely! First of all, you get to experience such a broad range of natural building techniques (and learn about the garden and everything else). I’m also networking with tons of engineers and architects and all of these people that are resources to the Village but who will also become resources to me.
Plus, getting to work under so many mentors is great, too—working with Pat [Hennebery], who knows more than all of us combined, and then all the guest teachers and natural building people—people like Mark Lakeman and Chris Magwood, or the natural building engineers we work with. It’s so valuable.
Where are you planning to go or do next?
I’ve committed to be at the Village at least until the Turtle House is at the lock up stage, which is probably around October or November. Then I’m going back to Camosun in either November or January to do my Level Four carpentry course and test for my Red Seal.
Rob’s on-site timber frame cottage under construction.
Anything else you would like to share with readers?
All in all it has been a great experience. I would encourage anyone who even has an inkling they might be interested to come to a tour and visit. For anyone who is thinking about a new job or trying to farm, I would encourage you to consider an internship or do some other programming. At the very least, come for a visit!